BRITE Ideas | Columbia Center on Global Brand Leadership
BRITE Ideas: insights on how to build strong brands
September 30, 2009
Announcing BRITE ’10 dates: March 31-April 1, 2010
In This Issue:
Crowdsourcing in Action: One Step to Build a Company (read)
Case Study: Seeking to Breathe Life into a Tired CSR Program (read)
Call for Speakers: BRITE ’10 Conference (read)
The Three Big Automotive Marketing Trends of 2009 (read)
More Reading (read)
For Your Amusement (read)
Crowdsourcing in Action: One Step to Build a Company
There is growing evidence that a company can strengthen its brand by listening to customers and even sourcing business ideas from the crowd.  But just what does such an effort look like in action?

Entrepreneur Aaron Cohen used his speaking slot at the BRITE '09 conference to conduct a live crowdsourcing experiment with the attendees. Cohen described the basic concept and unique assets behind a new company he was about to lead, AnyClip.com, and then sought out suggestions that might turn these raw materials into a breakout media brand. You can watch a video of this “crowdsourcing in action” here.

Cohen assumed the role of CEO shortly after BRITE, and AnyClip is now moving forward along some of the tracks discussed during the conference. AnyClip (now in beta launch) lets users find, watch and share short clips of their favorite movie scenes online, and it has already secured the rights to host films from most of the major Hollywood studios. The company won rave reviews for its recent demo at the TechCrunch50 competition, walking away with the coveted Audience Award.

One of the key ideas in Cohen's crowdsourcing discussion at BRITE was to open up the company’s film clip database to the software developer community -- so that anyone can build new applications, services, and revenue streams based on AnyClip’s platform. Cohen discusses this strategy in a recent piece he wrote for The Business Insider, including the use of an “open API” (application program interface). Opening a new platform up to development by other entrepreneurs has been a critical part of the success of both Twitter and the iPhone App Store.

Open APIs are unique to technology brands. But, whatever industry you are in, there are ways to solicit ideas from your stakeholders and strengthen your brand through collaboration with your customers.
Case Study: Seeking to Breathe Life into a Tired CSR Program
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives, which at one time helped companies to differentiate themselves, are now expected practices, and distinguishing a company through “green initiatives” is a particularly high hurdle.  A new case study, co-authored by our own Bernd Schmitt, examines how these challenges are impacting the Yuhan-Kimberly Corporation, and what strategies the company is considering in response.

Yuhan-Kimberly built a reputation for trailblazing CSR by instituting its “Keep Korea Green” tree planting initiative back in 1984.  In today’s world, however, this lone CSR effort feels tired, competitors have launched similar “green” programs and, as a paper products company, its very credibility as “green” has been called into question. 

Click here to read more about the case study and the strategic decisions Yuhan-Kimberly (and many other companies) face in keeping their CSR efforts effective.
Call for Speakers: BRITE ’10 Conference
We are pleased to announce our Call for Speakers for the BRITE ’10 conference which will take place March 31-April 1, 2010 at Columbia University.  Our aim is to provide BRITE attendees with engaging content that stimulates their thinking and helps them return to their offices with new ideas about how to strengthen their own brands.

BRITE speaker proposals should be themed around inspiring stories and universal insights about how innovation and technology can help build all kinds of brands, whether they are people, places, products, services or ideas.  Full details on the topic goals for BRITE ‘10 and the format for speaker submissions are available here (.pdf).  The deadline for proposals is October 14, 2009.
The Three Big Automotive Marketing Trends of 2009
You may have seen the recent advertisement by General Motors in which GM’s new CEO, Ed Whitacre, offers a 60-day guarantee to return any newly purchased GM vehicle for your full money back.  In a recent blog post, David Rogers argues that there have been three big ideas in automotive marketing in the U.S. within the last year: 1) Cash for Clunkers, 2) Hyundai's offer to forgive car payments for new car buyers who lost their job, and now 3) GM's money back guarantee.

Click here to both read David‘s post and hear his interview with Richard Piet on WKZO in Michigan.
More Reading
GOMOT: Schmitt reflects on 10 years of the Center on Global Brand Leadership
(SCHMITT Blog)
Multi-tasking: love it or hate it?
(BRITE Blog)
Mythological marketing for Indian brands
(Harvard Business Blog)
Social media insights from Pepsi, Zappos, Dell & Rubbermaid
(Hub Magazine)
Good advice: 5 Easy Steps to Stay Safe & Private on Facebook (Read #5 on Quizzes!)
(New York Times)
For Your Amusement
Bernd Schmitt knows why Sanjay Sood is cool
(BRITE video)
Did the Amish invent blogging?
(New York Times)
Fun video by Japanese band Sour (created with a little help from their fans)
(YouTube)

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